By Alice O’Neill
Harper Lee’s old novel being turned into a new best seller is getting
a lot of press. Everyone I know has a memory of reading the book or seeing the movie.
I taught “Mockingbird” to junior high students in the
1970s. Great book about a real civil rights and social problem as seen
through the eyes of a precocious girl. And it made a terrific movie.
Mary Badham played Scout. She’s the sister of John Badham, who
directed “Saturday Night Fever.” She had never acted before and
little was known of her.
I once chatted with Veronique Peck, Gregory Peck’s last wife, at the after
party for the Broadway production of “Death of a Salesman.” Elegant
woman. Her daughter with Peck, Cecelia, echoes qualities of her mother.
Here’s an interview you might find
Compassion and tolerance are the lessons learned from “To Kill A
Mockingbird.” It’ll be interesting to see what the new book offers.
I’ll bet money that a movie deal has already been contracted.
Have to wait and see who plays the grown up Scout. Looking at the
photos on Mary Badham’s Facebook page it seems the adult Mary Badham
has the same quirky looks as she had at nine. Will she get the role?
In my view it’s not likely. My money is on a trained actress with
star power, somebody like Amy Adams.
Mary never took an acting class and says she won’t either. She’ll
probably have a minor role which might help publicize the new film. She’ll always be known as the child actress who played Scout. That association is uppermost in her mind all these years after the making of that marvelous film.